cutefish os ubuntu

You can now try the CuteFish desktop environment on top of an Ubuntu base, with CuteFish OS Ubuntu.

A installable image of the distro is available to download for testing and development purposes. While it can’t be recommended for daily driver status (the desktop environment is under active development) it is nonetheless a great way to sample the promising, Qt-based CuteFish desktop environment.

The current .iso is based off of Kubuntu 21.04, but uses the Qt-based CuteFish desktop by default rather the more familiar KDE Plasma.

A small selection of KDE software come preinstalled, such text editor Kate, screenshot tool Spectacle, and Muon Package Manager, as well as well-known apps like Firefox, VLC, and MPV.

Also included are some native CuteFish apps, including a file manager, calculator, terminal, and settings hub. All of these are very functional, though the file manager is (understandably) rather no-frills at present, compared to something like Dolphin or Index.

screenshot of CuteFish OS Ubuntu - file manager and terminal
CuteFish’s own apps work well

The CuteFish desktop itself is composed of a desktop dock (which can be moved to the left or right), a basic status bar (with global menu), plus a full-screen app launcher (searchable), and session and lock screens.

A unified iOS-styled control center provides quick access to settings like wi-fi, volume, MPRIS controls, and dark mode. There’s no calendar applet atm so clicking on the time/date does nothing.

screenshot of CuteFish OS Ubuntu -control center in dark mode
Handy access to common controls

The native Settings app is well stocked. Most core UI functions are present and working, including wired and wireless networking, appearance settings, display resolution and orientation, mouse/touchpad controls, swappable power profiles, and more.

screenshot of CuteFish OS Ubuntu firefox and dock settings
Dock settings

One notable difference to regular Kubuntu is that CuteFish OS Ubuntu comes with two package managers: apt, and tap. The former manages the Ubuntu base. The latter is a bespoke package manager created to handle updates to the CuteFish desktop environment (and associated applications), which are released regularly in a ‘rolling release’ style manner.

To update the CuteFish desktop and associated apps in the OS you need to run tap update from the command line. Other apps, and the underlying distro, are managed by apt.

Download CuteFish OS Ubuntu (Beta)

You can download CuteFish OS Ubuntu from the official project website, linked below:

Open Download Page for CuteFish OS Ubuntu Beta

Do keep in mind that this is a development release. There are bugs, missing features, inconsistencies, and potential for errors.

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